August 23, 2007


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On drums, everywhere
Jared Steer has sticks, will travel
By Erica Febre

For Jared Steer, it’s all music all the time.

Being a drummer with five different bands and also teaching lessons on the side, Steer, a young musician from New Hampton, has made a full-time drumming career for himself.

Steer drums with local bands Ben Rudnick & Friends, a family-oriented group; a new creation called Ground Wise, which plays dub reggae; the Tony Sarno Band, a rock and blues trio; and Sounds Like, an improv trio. Steer also frequently plays in a duo with Mike Effenberger on piano; they will perform at Commercial Street Fishery in Manchester on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

For Steer, it’s all about improv, in which he finds himself wrapped up, more than anything else. In fact, only two of the groups he’s involved with actually feature lyrics to their music: Ben Rudnick & Friends and the Tony Sarno Band.

“There just aren’t that many vocalists, if any, that can improvise on the spot,” Steer said.

The rest of the creations feature all instrumentals, following with the improv style of playing, which, according to Steer, is referred to as “avant garde.”

“Avant garde is a genre of jazz. It basically means straight-up improv, off the cuff. You really have to listen to the music and where your fellow bandmates are going with it. The music can go in any direction. Everybody’s a leader and can push the music wherever they want it to go,” Steer said.

Ground Wise, an all-original dub reggae creation, also features Effenberger on keys and electronics, as well as Steer on drums, Andy Green on guitar and Scott Padgett on bass.

“It’s reggae but we’re trying to electronically emulate a twist on it, like cutting certain parts and adding other electronic delays,” Steer said.

The Tony Sarno band features Tony Sarno on guitar and vocals, Al Hospers on bass and Steer on drums.

“It’s more of a homestyle-type music, a rock and blues trio. We do stuff like “Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix, some BB King, but it’s mostly original stuff,” Steer said.

Sounds Like is another trio featuring Steer on drums with Matt Langley on saxophone and Effenberger, again, on piano.

“It’s about being able to make music on the spot, seeing what you can do with an empty pallette. Sometimes it really can sound like junk, but that’s the fun of it, just being able to have the opportunity to experiment,” Steer said.

Steer teaches drum lessons at the Bedford Youth Performing Company part-time.

On drums
Jared Steer and Mike Effenberger duo
When: Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m.
Where: Commercial Street Fishery, 33 S. Commercial St., Manchester
For more information: Steer’s completed performance schedule is available at For details about Ben Rudnick & Friends, go to, or for more details about The Tony Sarno Band, go to or Effenberger also has details available at